Does your Club have fewer members than it once had? Is your club ageing? Do you have fewer younger members than you once had? Is the proportion of younger members changing?
Many organisations are finding that their membership is dropping.
It could be due to a change in the way the community values membership. It could be because other commitments have reduced the amount of time individuals have to give community service or to be involved in Club activities. It could be because the traditional structure of Clubs does not meet the needs of younger members familiar with social networking and the ability to contribute on an equal basis without the traditional club structure.
There is no doubt that many community groups are finding that not only is their membership dropping but that it seems to be ageing. Committee members are being recycled with little new blood and where there are younger members taking positions of responsibility, they often only do so for a short period. A valuable exercise would be to find out why your younger members are not volunteering for positions of Office and especially why those who have experienced a short term on your Committee have not continued.
Another valuable exercise would be to look over your Clubs membership records to determine how the age profile is changing. Is the proportion of younger members really decreasing or are there just fewer of them because your membership is dropping? Is there also a decrease in the duration of membership, with younger members staying for shorter durations than they once did? Should we expect a decrease in the proportion of younger members to match the changing age profile of the population as a whole?
Whatever the cause, addressing this problem should be high on the agenda of any Club. Without tackling the ageing problem few Clubs can survive, as older members retire and are not replaced by younger and as the Committee workload falls on the same “old” people.
This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.